Are You Prepared for Old Man Winter?
Looks like we made it through another hurricane season! I’m beginning to think I’m good luck because we haven’t had a major storm since I moved to the state. That said, winter is just around the corner, and it’s important to plan ahead in case we experience some tricky winter weather.
Coming from the North, I took for granted the preparation that goes into the winter season. Roads were treated before the weather arrived, and we didn’t have to worry about everything shutting down. Of course, this didn’t stop people from buying all the bread and milk. But I digress.
We have experienced some colder than usual temperatures already, but it’s not too late to put together a plan in case we have ourselves a winter to remember. Here are some tips to help save you on money and energy:
- Put together a winter-weather emergency kit – You might have a hurricane prep kit on hand already, but if not, make sure you have easy access to things like flashlights, extra batteries, water, snacks and medications. These will all come in handy in case of a power outage. You might also want to keep an extra prep kit in your car in case you end up stranded during a sudden winter storm.
- Grab some salt – We aren’t too far south for an ice storm, as we saw a few years ago. Rock salt is a great way to keep your walkways and driveways free of ice and to keep you from a serious slip and fall. Bonus – it never expires, so you can store it in a dry location for years until you need it.
- Insulate your pipes – Many homes don’t have basements, so your pipes may be more susceptible to freezing if the temperatures drop. Insulating your exposed pipes can help prevent this. It’s also a good idea to let your faucets drip a little to keep the water moving when it’s freezing out. If a pipe does burst, be sure to know where your shut-off is to help prevent water damage.
- Get a generator – Generators are a great way to keep your lights on during a power outage. Make sure you know how to use it, and always follow the manufacturer’s operating guide. NEVER use a generator indoors as they produce deadly carbon monoxide.
Ready or not – winter is coming. If you stay ahead of the game, you’ll be much better off. For more tips on winter preparation, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website for a helpful winter weather guide. Stay safe!